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Beginner – Middle School


¡Me gusta mucho esta escuela! Wellan students learn Spanish in context with a hands-on, visual curriculum that encourages active participation. Over time, students progress to more complex conversations; are able to read and retell stories; write reports; and do math equations in Spanish. In addition to these skills, students of all ages develop a love for the Spanish language and culture.


Spanish classes at Wellan begin with our youngest Beginner students. At the Beginner and Primary levels, the focus remains on exposure to a second language during an important developmental “sensitive period” for language acquisition. Beginner students are engaged in once a week lessons that involve movement and sensory experiences—they see and touch tangible objects while listening to their teachers name items and actions in Spanish. Primary students currently have 30 minute lessons once a week, as well as an integrated Spanish time where the Spanish teacher is available in the home classroom to support students and provide enrichment during the work period. At the Primary level, Spanish teachers prioritize building strong, positive relationships with students so that they feel safe to take the risk of speaking in Spanish. 


At the Lower Elementary level, Spanish classes meet twice a week for 30 minutes and begin to incorporate reading and writing lessons. Reading in Spanish is taught using phonetics, and once students grasp the sounds of vowels and consonants, they begin to sound out words independently. Upper Elementary students also have Spanish classes twice a week, but classes are grouped according to factors such as Spanish proficiency and learning style rather than by homeroom class. This allows Spanish teachers to adjust their emphasis and expectations according the group’s specific needs. As they combine vocabulary from previous units of study, they also work on writing sentences and short paragraphs on a regular basis. 


By the time students reach the Voyager middle school program, they take Spanish twice a week for 45 minutes and are increasingly comfortable participating in conversations and giving short presentations. Students work to master grammatical structures like verb tenses and punctuation. Many students at this level are self-motivated and improve quickly because they spend time practicing and working on Spanish language learning. At every level, Spanish lessons are characterized by joyful participation and exposure to language and culture. 

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